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Slashed community budgets could undermine mental health plan

The cuts to local support for mums could damage the plans for improved maternal mental health, a union of mental health nurses warned.

Unite warned that cuts elsewhere and “a hollowing out of local support to mums” could undermine much of The Five Year Forward View for Mental Health report, and its pledge to give at least 30,000 more women a year access to specialist services. 

While the union welcomed the report, they stated that since government budgets for mental health trusts fell by 2% from 2013/14 to 2014/15, the government is “promising money to solve a problem of its own making”.

The failure to provide adequate mental health care is costing the economy, NHS and society around £105bn a year in England, revealed the report - led by the head of the charity Mind.

Dave Munday, Unite professional officer for health, said: “The promise of funding for mental health is welcome, but with cuts to public health, children's services and third sector mental health providers, the fear is that it simply won't be enough to address a history of underfunding and cuts.

“Mental health workers are working under considerable pressure to deliver the best service and help they can. They need to be confident that the cycle of robbing 'Peter to pay Paul' and then giving a little bit back will end,” he added.